Somalia’s Mohamed Farmaajo, whose term expired on February 8, continues to ignore the writings on the wall. And as things go, there may be a small window left to rescue both his career and the destiny of Somalia.
On Tuesday, the latest ominous sign came from a grouping of Hawiye clan members and professionals. Gathering in Mogadishu, they withdrew support for Farmaajo, expressing fury at his decisions to assent to the term extension motion of parliament.
A voice emerged from 400 delegates of Mogadishu’s most prominent clan with interests in politics and businesses which means they have sufficient influence in the capital. The participants include two ex-Presidents, a former PM, opposition and youth leaders as well as other special interest groups.
Well, some have argued perhaps correctly that the clan as a unit of politics in Somalia may be behind the perennial chaos.
But Somalia’s nascent democracy borrows from its culture and history, which means that every son and daughter the clans have brought up to serve their country considers their class as the basic politics. It is the way Somalis have organized themselves for centuries and it is why we cannot throw away the bathwater with the baby.
This is why the clan, no matter its shortcomings in other times, will remain influential in Somali politics and any leader who ignores it perishes politically. For the Hawiye specifically, their influence in Mogadishu means that any changes in the political stability of the country affect them directly and their influence in Mogadishu means that ay changes in the political stability of the country affect them directly and their displeasure simply means one bigger door has been slammed in Farmaajo’s face.
There have been other protestants more directly from Farmaajo’s rival in the presidential contest. This week the National Salvation Forum warned of political instability as the term extension goes on. And Presidents of Galmudung, Hirshabelle And South West have recently come under pressure from their own clans to clarify their positions. The donors and partners have all rejected the extensions and warned of a reevaluation of the relationship, including suspension of crucial programs in security and humanitarian sectors.
Yet even in the glare of these warnings, President Farmaajo has chosen to go on a charm offensive seeking the African Union’s hand to endorse his ill-thought and controversial term extension.
He did not read between the lines when after meeting President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he was told that Somalia must pursue its own consensus to avert a crisis. Mr. Tshisekedi the current chairman of the African Union agreed to support dialogue in Somalia an indication that the continental body is willing to step in.
But everybody knows Farmaajo’s game plan is to get an endorsement from the AU to sanitize his political dirt. Earning from his friends in Ethiopia, Farmaajo knows he can seek the involvement of the African Union because the body itself is flawed in operation: all leaders have hidden behind Article 4(g) of the AU Constitutive Act on “non-interference in internal matters” of members.
In short, he can reduce the continental body into spectators just as the neighbors did with the Tigray region.
This is not to say the AU is a useless organization. In fact, Somalia has a lot to thank the AU for having created the AU Mission in Somalia which has been guarding Farmaajo and his palace, the Villa Somalia.
We fear that Farmaajo has shown sufficient hypocrisy in the past. On one day he insists on sovereignty when critics pour in while on the other hand when he is facing local turmoil he rushes to the AU for help.
The flip-flopping is meant to waste time and the best thing Farmaajo can do is to resume talks which will be the surest way to ending this fiasco.
Popular Nominated MP Jennifer Shamalla yesterday moved to throw a spanner in the works as regarding debate on Lawyer Fred Nga’tia who, hours earlier, had been interviewed for the Chief Justice position by the Judicial Service Commission’s vetting panel.
Jennifer Shamalla dismissed fears expressed by Ngatia’s critics who are concerned that since he has acted as a lawyer for Uhuru in the past, this might make him an unsuitable Chief Justice, citing possible bias.
Speaking yesterday on KTN News’ political show NewsNight hosted by Ben Kitili, Jennifer Shamalla reminded the rest that even former Chief Justice David Maraga, who is now hailed as a model Chief Justice by many, had his own unsavory past.
Referring to a ruling Maraga made when he was still a High Court judge in Nakuru, Shamalla said it should be remembered that Maraga freed four suspects who were accused of burning the Kiambaa Church during the 2007-08 post-election violence.
Thousands of civilians, including women and children, died when marauding militias set fire to the Kenya Assemblies of God church in the northern city of Eldoret, where they were sheltering from the clashes. The deaths took place on 1 January, 2008, and four suspects were charged two months later but Justice David Maraga said he had to drop the case, citing lack of evidence and shoddy police investigations.
Back in 2016, when appearing before MPs for vetting, then Chief Justice nominee David Maraga struggled to explain himself against allegations he failed to serve justice in the famous judgement.
When he appeared before MPs for vetting, Justice Maraga was pressed to explain his decision not to convict anyone during the attack on Kiambaa church at the height of the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
Under intense questioning by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee led by then Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, the judge stood his ground.
Committee vice-person Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri County MP) raised the matter of Kiambaa Church arson case and demanded to know why the suspects were acquitted.
Justice Maraga said: “I handled the… Kiambaa at the… time. Our judgement is not based on emotions but on evidence and the law. I also lamented over poor investigations. There was no evidence to sustain a conviction.”
Chad woke up to an uncertain future on Wednesday as the son of slain president Idriss Deby Itno took charge following the death of his father, who had ruled the country with an iron fist for three decades.
The presidency moved swiftly to put the reins of power in the hands of General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno and tear up Chad’s constitution, establishing a “Transition Charter” that lays out a new basic law for the desert country of 16 million people.
The new charter issued Wednesday proclaimed that Mahamat 37, a career soldier like his father, will “occupy the functions of the president of the republic” and also serve as head of the armed forces.
Mahamat had already been named the head of a military council on Tuesday soon after the announcement of Deby’s death in combat, a move that sidelined other political institutions in Chad and has been branded a coup d’etat by opposition groups.
Deby, 68, died only a day after provisional results declared him the winner of an April 11 election giving him a sixth term in office.
The outcome was never in serious doubt, with a divided opposition, boycott calls, and a campaign in which demonstrations were banned or dispersed.
The military council has already dissolved parliament and the government, and been tasked with leading an 18-month transition period ahead of new “free and democratic” elections.
Anxious Western powers including Chad’s former colonial master France have called for a peaceful transition that paves the way for a civilian government.
– Rebel incursion –
The West has lost a key partner in its anti-jihadist campaign in the unstable Sahel region particularly due to the relative strength of Chad’s military and its ability to supply weaponry and soldiers.
His demise came only days after the army had claimed a “great victory” against fighters from the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) who had launched an incursion from Libya on the same day as the presidential election.
Deby, a herder’s son who took power on the back of a coup in 1990, had on previous occasions gone to the frontlines as government forces battled rebels.
The military said Monday it had killed more than 300 rebels and captured 150 others, with the loss of five soldiers.
But FACT spokesman Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol told AFP on Tuesday that the rebels would pursue their offensive after a pause for Deby’s state funeral on Friday.
“We categorically reject the transition,” he said. “Our troops are en route towards N’Djamena.”
Gun-toting soldiers in fatigues and members of the red-bereted presidential guard were seen patrolling the capital in the aftermath of Deby’s death.
But on Wednesday, banks, markets and most shops were open while the national flag flew at half-mast on public buildings.
– ‘Security crossroads’ –
Analysts warned that Deby’s passing threatened to bring more instability to a region where jihadist groups are gaining in strength.
“Chad is at a critical security crossroads for the whole of the African continent and for many years now has been not just a staunch Western ally but an effective security partner,” said Cameron Hudson, a senior fellow and Africa expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank.
France, which has a force of 5,100 in the Sahel region, said it insisted on the “stability and territorial integrity” of Chad in the face of the rebel push towards the capital.
The French presidency also underscored “the importance of the transition taking place under peaceful conditions”.
There should also be “a spirit of dialogue with all political and civil society actors, and allowing the rapid return to inclusive governance based on civil institutions,” it added.
Both the United States and the European Union also offered condolences and urged a peaceful transition of power.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said Deby was a “key partner” and had made significant contributions to help “combat terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime in the Sahel”.
One analyst said the country was “entering uncharted territory”.
“A damaging succession crisis is to be feared, while government forces and rebels have been fighting each other in the north and centre of the country,” said Richard Moncrieff of the International Crisis Group think tank.
Royal Media Services boss SK Macharia’s bodyguards and the security manning the gates of his media house (Citizen Tv) has been withdrawn.
Sources at the media house alleged that the Wednesday morning, April 21, 2021 incidence was done with a motive of retaliating against Citizen TV’s investigative feature, Gun Galore (Silaha Mtaani) by reporter Purity Mwambia.
“The administration police are who are stationed at the gate work in two shifts, during the day and during the night. They did not report to duty.
“Those attached to SK Macharia were also withdrawn,” the sources said.
The move has raised concerns over the safety of the media house boss, its staff and the investigative reporter, Purity Mwambia.
This comes after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 announced that he would summon Purity Mwambia and some Senior Officials from Citizen Tv over Gun Galore report.
The DCI boss claimed that the media house did not consult the police or relevant stakeholders before airing the piece.
“The allegations made in this report are extremely serious. It is also apparent that crimes relating to unlawful possession of firearms may have been committed in the context of this report.
“We never refused to any operations being carried by you. This could be a fantastic operation if at least you could have put us on board. The moment you have received a piece of information where we can recover a firearm, please don’t be cheated it was okay to be done the way it was done. It was dangerous,” Kinoti said.
The Citizen Tv investigative reporters handed the exhibits collected in the report, among them an AK 47 gun, a pistol, handcuffs and police uniform to the police.
However, the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) defended the Media house from the DCI summons saying that it expected the police to investigate the matter rather than violate freedom of the press and access to information.
“In this case where the media has exposed weaknesses among some elements in the National Police Service (NPS), natural justice demands that the same service cannot then purport to investigate or otherwise summon the journalists.
“Instead, efforts should be put toward finding out how their members are providing civilians with guns, bullets, uniforms and handcuffs. Summoning journalists to reveal their sources is a violation of press freedom,” MCK wrote in a press statement dated Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
William Ruto is an evil genius, he’s a dictator and all around surrounded by thugs and hard-boiled fans.
This was very clear from a top trending hashtag #KarenCirclesOfEvil, where angry Kenyans have strongly called out DP Ruto criminal associates.
Kenyans on Twitter, popularly known as KOT, have over the past decade built a reputation as bulldogs in their own capacity. Not only are they ferocious when mocked, but they are also sharp and fierce with their opinions, ensuring the voice of Kenyans is heard loud and clear.
From Kimwarer to Arror, to fake guns scandal, to Weston, to Muteshi land, to drugs, to murder, to money laundering in Tanzania to fake Gold scandal, the enraged KOT unmasked all the dirt in Ruto’s closet.
And it was obvious that the second in command is surrounded by the most dubious of persons accused of the worst crimes and yet he want to lead Kenya.
Ironically DP Ruto has carefully crafted an image of a clean-cut, staunch Christian. He is said to be a teetotaller, waking up at 4am daily to pray, and never misses a Sunday service, “despite his busy schedule”.
Ruto’s other public persona is that of a “hustler”. In interviews, he has spoken of his “ordinary” peasant upbringing of herding cows and selling chicken during the weekends and holidays to raise money for family needs.
But in recent years, stubborn questions regarding the source of his vast wealth refuse to go away and Kenyans online today have unmasked DP’s associates who have oiled his campaigns in the recent times.
One netizen noted that Ruto is not only notorious thief siphoning public resources but also a cold blood murderer. He murdered the likes of Jacob Juma, Meshack Yebei, John Kituyi among other very many innocent Kenyans in cold blood
Another indicated that William Ruto’s chemistry with rogue members in our society is unmatched. Ex governor Waititu a corrupt suspect is Ruto’s friend, disgraced Sonko an ex-convict and thief is Ruto’s friend. Obado murdered Sharon & also a thief is Ruto’s friend. Echesa involved fake arms deal is Ruto’s ally
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